Niko Paech

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Niko Paech
Niko Paech, 2011 (cropped).jpg
Paech in 2011
Niko Paech

(1960-12-09) December 9, 1960 (age 58)
Occupationeconomist, professor at University of Oldenburg
AwardsKapp-Forschungspreis für Ökologische Ökonomie

Niko Paech (born December 9, 1960 in Schüttorf[1]) is a German economist. Since 2010 he has been substitute professor at the chair of production and environment („PUM“) at the University of Oldenburg. His research is in the fields of environmental economics, ecological economics and sustainability science.


Paech received his diploma in economy in 1987 at the University of Osnabrück. He continued to work at the same university until 1997, obtaining his PhD in 1993.

After working for a short phase as a consultant in the area of ecological grocery and as Agenda 21 agent of the city Oldenburg Paech began his employment at the University of Oldenburg.

He was co-funder of CENTOS (Oldenburg Center for Sustainability Economics and Management) and is co-chairman of Vereinigung für Ökologische Ökonomie (VÖÖ), a German society for ecological economics,[2] member of ZENARIO (Center for sustainable space developing Oldenburg) and the network KoBE e.V. (Expertise center for Building and Energy). Besides Paech is a member and scientific adviser of attac-Germany[3] and founding member of the „Postfossil-Institut“ (2011).[4]

In 2006 he was awarded the Kapp-Forschungspreis für Ökologische Ökonomie for his work of „Nachhaltiges Wirtschaften jenseits von Innovationsorientierung und Wachstum – Eine unternehmensbezogene Transformationstheorie“.[5] In 2014, he received the award “Mut zur Nachhaltigkeit” (“Encouraging Sustainability”) by Zeit Wissen.[6] The jury distinguished Paech as a luminous figure in the worldwide discussion about post-growth.[7][8] In an article published in the Guardian about the German post growth movement, he was characterized as „one of the more high-profile members of this movement.“[9]

Post-growth economy[edit]

Paech refers to post-growth economy as an economic system that supplies the human needs not on the basis of, or dependency on economic growth but which is characterized by degrowth. Post-growth economy specifically distinguishes itself from popular terms or ideologies such as "sustainable", "green", "dematerialized" or "decarbonized", rejecting the idea that ecological sustainability through technological development would be a realistic goal when holding on to a system measuring progress merely in added economical value.[10] Paech argues for the necessity of such an economic order by addressing the failure of decoupling the environmental damage and the consumption of resources from economical added value, addressing issues such as raising general well-being in society based on happiness economics and economic limitations such as the global maximum oil output.[10]

His approach is based upon five pillars: institutional innovations, material zero sum games,[11] regional economics, subsistence economy and sufficiency, „which conclusivly leads to a higher individual life quality and more common good.“ He underlines that no sustainable products nor sustainable technologies as such exist, only sustainable lifestyles.[12][13]

Public perception[edit]

Niko Paech and his concepts have been discussed in the German national press such as Süddeutsche,[14] Bild,[15] Zeit,[16] taz,[17][18] Le Monde diplomatique,[13] Tagesspiegel,[19] Badische Zeitung[20] or VDI nachrichten.[21] He was interviewed in Deutschlandradio Kultur [22] 3sat,[23] Arte[24] and was in-studio guest at Planet Wissen.[25] Internationally, his concepts were discussed in Austria by Südwind Magazin,[26] the magazine Format[27] and ORF,[28] the Swiss Radio Stadtfilter[29] and the Italian newspapers La Stampa[30] and Panorama.[31]


  • Niko Paech: Se libérer du superflu - vers une économie de post-croissance, éd. Rue de l'échiquier, Paris, 2017 ISBN 978-2-37425-057-1
  • Niko Paech: Liberation from Excess - The road to a post-growth economy. oekom verlag, Munich 2012. ISBN 978-3-86581-324-4
  • Niko Paech: Vom grünen Wachstum zur Postwachstumsökonomie. Warum weiteres wirtschaftliches Wachstum keine zukunftsfähige Option ist In: Woynowski, Boris et al. 2012 (Hg.): Wirtschaft ohne Wachstum?! Notwendigkeit und Ansätze einer Wachstumswende. ISSN 1431-8261 free access, 20 MB
  • Niko Paech: Nachhaltiges Wirtschaften jenseits von Innovationsorientierung und Wachstum. Eine unternehmensbezogene Transformationstheorie. Metropolis-Verlag, Marburg 2005. ISBN 978-3-89518-523-6


  1. ^ complete vita (PDF; 74 kB) (Homepage of the Universität Oldenburg Archived 2013-03-13 at the Wayback Machine)
  2. ^ Vorstand der VÖÖ, accessed February 25, 2015.
  3. ^ Mitgliederliste des wissenschaftlichen Beirates von attac-Deutschland, accessed February 25, 2015.
  4. ^ Website of „Postfossil-Institut“ (PFI e.V.), Hamburg
  5. ^ Kapp-Forschungspreis - Preisträger 2006, accessed February 25, 2015.
  6. ^ Niko Paech mit dem ZEIT WISSEN-Preis Mut zur Nachhaltigkeit ausgezeichnet, press release by Oldenburg University, February 28, 2014.
  7. ^ Niko Paech mit dem ZEIT WISSEN-Preis Mut zur Nachhaltigkeit ausgezeichnet, press release by Zeit-Verlagsgruppe, February 27, 2014.
  8. ^ Max Rauner: Grünkohl gut, Geländewagen böse? In: Zeit Wissen 3/14, page 80.
  9. ^ Sherelle Jacobs: Germany's 'post-growth' movement, The Guardian, September 19, 2012.
  10. ^ a b Niko Paech. "Grundzüge einer Postwachstumsökonomie" (in German). Retrieved 2015-02-25.
  11. ^ Niko Paech (2006), "Wachstumsneutralität durch stoffliche Nullsummenspiele", Ökologisches Wirtschaften (in German) (3), pp. 30–33
  12. ^ Niko Paech: Wachstumsdämmerung, Artikel in Oya 7/2011 (Onlineversion).
  13. ^ a b Niko Paech. "Die Legende vom nachhaltigen Wachstum (The legend of stustainable growth)". Le Monde diplomatique. Retrieved 2015-09-04.
  14. ^ Tilman Wörtz: "Grünes Wachstum" gibt es nicht, Süddeutsche Zeitung, January 17, 2014.
  15. ^ Holger Bloethe: Spinnt der? Deutschlands härtester Konsumkritiker fordert 20-Stunden-Woche für alle!. Bild, December 8, 2012.
  16. ^ Georg Etscheit: Niko Paech: Aufklärung 2.0. Die Zeit 49/2012, December 11, 2012.
  17. ^ "Jetzt hören Sie mit den Radieschen auf", die tageszeitung, January 21, 2012.
  18. ^ Niko Paech über Postwachstum: Konsum nervt, die tageszeitung, September 1, 2014.
  19. ^ Norbert Thomma and Manfred Kriener: Wachstumskritiker Niko Paech: "Sehe ich aus wie ein Hippie?", Der Tagesspiegel, November 25, 2012.
  20. ^ Jürgen Reuß: Ökonom Niko Paech fordert Abschaffung der Industrie, Badische Zeitung, January 28, 2014.
  21. ^ I. Hartbrich/P. Schwarz/C. Böckmann: „Wir brauchen einen Plan B“, VDI nachrichten 17/2014, April 25, 2014.
  22. ^ Überleben ohne Wirtschaftswachstum. Niko Paech under discussion with Ute Welty. Deutschlandradio Kultur, January 4, 2013.
  23. ^ Interview mit Volkswirt Niko Paech, 3sat, makro, June 5, 2014.
  24. ^ Interview mit Niko Paech Archived 2015-02-25 at the Wayback Machine, Arte Journal, June 21, 2012.
  25. ^ Gut leben - mit oder ohne Geld?. Planet Wissen, March 28, 2014, SWR and BR-alpha.
  26. ^ Niko Paech im Gespräch: „Neue Lebensstile brauchen Übung“, Südwind Magazin, September 2014.
  27. ^ Martina Bachler: Ökonom Niko Paech: „Wir sind Trophäensammler mit Konsum-Burn-out“, Format, August 12, 2014.
  28. ^ Prof. Dr. Niko Paech: „Befreiung vom Überfluss - Aufbruch in die Postwachstumsökonomie“, ORF Focus, November 29, 2012.
  29. ^ Wachstumskritiker Niko Paech - Befreiung vom Überfluss Archived 2015-02-25 at the Wayback Machine, Radio Stadtfilter, Synapsenfunk, January 20, 2015.
  30. ^ Alessandro Alviani: Paech, profeta della decrescita radicale “Aboliti aereo, cellulare, carne e uova”, La Stampa, December 13, 2012.
  31. ^ Stefania Medetti: La Germania e i dieci indicatori economici oltre al pil, Panorama, May 9, 2013.

External links[edit]